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A seal of approval

  • How it works
  • Garages must meet standards
  • Customers can complain
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The Motor Industry Code of Practice for Service and Repair is also expected to have stage one seal of approval from the Office of Fair Trading almost immediately.

If the industry can show that its adhering to the code for the following nine months, it will earn stage two approval.

Then, and only then, will member garages be allowed to display the OFTs logo as a sign that they are businesses to be trusted.

Other workshops that have already gone through this OFT approval process include the 400-strong Bosch chain of service and repair garages (www.boschcarservice.co.uk) and the Vehicle Builders and Repairers Association (www.vbra.co.uk), which focuses on bodywork.

The British Standards Institute already runs a tough Kitemark scheme for garage service.

Brooker describes it as a gold standard for garages to achieve, which may explain why only around 150 workshops have been successful in achieving this Kitemark since the scheme was launched three years ago.

These great efforts must be applauded, but the potential, wider reach of the new scheme could mean more significant improvements if it proves to be as robust as it promises.